Interview: Serbey Gubka

Clement Pony aka Serbey Gubka is one of the founding members of Acid Pony Club and was one fourth of Death to Ponies. Acid Pony Club is one of the best DJ and live electronic groups to come out of Shanghai via France. So good in fact, they actually got some awards for it. Clement and Laura Ingalls of APC teamed up with Death to Giants to form Death to Ponies which was an experimental improv group that was quite heavy and put on amazing shows. Currently, Clement is working on a new band called Future Gaze and his new solo project Serbey Gubka. Nasty Wizard Recordings will be releasing Serbey Gubka tape as part of the Better Than A Glory Hole Series at Too Much Shit On The Table Vol 3 on July 2nd at DDC. Now it\’s time to find out why Clement thinks he is better than a glory hole. It\’s a difficult question we must all ask ourselves.

Interview conducted by Michael Cupoli
Could you talk about how you got into music and what your background is?
I did classical piano studies at a young age but hated the way they teach you music. They basically teach you how to replicate like a monkey and instead of using your ears…
After that i played electric guitar for a little bit, i was really into metal, hating on electronic music, saying it\’s music without musician. French touch like Daft Punk was all over french TV and radio at that time. Needed an alternative to it. 
Until i discovered hardcore techno at age 16-17. The first 20 minutes of \”Biomechanik\” from Manu le Malin , still the best hardcore french DJ, just blew my mind. It was really slow heavy distorted techno at 120bpm. Wasn\’t interested about DJing, but  I started to use Fruity Loops as I wanted to do my own music. Then bought my first groovebox, the roland MC505 that i still own. I think i owned all the first models of Korg Electribe that I am regretting now i sold them… I played liveset only at the beggining, haven\’t released any tracks until later.

When and how did Acid Pony Club get started?
APC was originally a group a friends in Paris, 15 years ago, who found the most stupid name in order throw parties wherever we could. Squats, free parties, teknival, bars, clubs… We all moved from Paris at one point or another, but started to throw parties with the same name when I arrived in Shanghai because of a lack of imagination. But what remains from the original crew is that we like to play every kind of dance music. Hip-hop, funk, disco, techno, all in the same mix.

Acid Pony Club makes house music. Death To Giants made scary music about scrambled eggs. How
did these odd couples come together to make Death to Ponies? What was it like to be in that group?
It was actually really natural . We were friends with Dennis and Ivan, we loved Death to Giants. I think it\’s one of the most interesting band that came  out of Shanghai. The first time we jammed, we knew there was some potential. It was improv only so some moment were magical and some were horrible. We had this odd sign language to know in what key we were supposed to play. But it was really easy because Dennis and Ivan were playing together for so long, just had to play weird things on top of them and most of the time it was working.
For me it was an amazing experience, it was the first time i played in a band and toured. Even though I was making electronic music for more than 10 years, I finally felt I was a real musician.

What does Serbey Gubka mean and how do you pronounce it?
I thought Sergey Bubka was famous all over the world but apparently i am the only one to find this name funny…
I have changed the letters order to Serbey Gubka so this is easier to google than a band called Tom & Katie.
It just a way to say that i am making for people that are high: weird beats and drony soundscapes…
If you want to prounonce it the french way with a sharp accent like i do, it is Sairebèye Goubka.

Why do you think Serbey Gubka is better than a glory hole?
 So this is the question i should do a perv joke? Serbey Gubka\’s is way deeper than a glory hole..

What has Acid Pony Club been like since Laura Ingalls decided to get all dramatic and pretend to off him/herself? Have you thought about killing yourself off like Laura Ingalls?
It has been a tough time for APC in Shanghai those past few weeks as Laura doesn\’t really have time for it those days and Elise is leaving Shanghai… But there is no way I am going to kill myself. Elise will still help me from Europe to do the same thing that we\’ve done for the past few months as we finally, after 8 years here, we took the next step for a promoter, bringing artists from overseas to play in China. Hopefully she\’ll be back soon! We already talking with venues for September/October and I am gonna push her to get a plane ticket back as soon as we confirm everything!
I hope we can make an APC live reunion in Dada Beijing as well…

A game theory question. Let\’s say you were standing on the edge of a cliff and you were holding both Elise and Raphael(the other members of APC) in each hand. You can only save one of them or let both of them fall to their death. Also, you get all the gear of whoever you let go. What would you do?
Really hard to because both of them have a synth that i\’d like to own. So chose between Elise and Raphael is like choosing between a Korg Mono/Poly and a Teenage Engineering OP1… What would you do , Michael? I think I\’d let them both fall to their death…

You have a new band called Future Gaze that was originally called Gay Future. Who is in the band? What kind of music is it? How gay is the future of the band?
Future Gaze is Sharon, singer from Marquee 7 and Tom & Katie, Daniel, drummer from So So Modern and Tom & Katie and myself.
Music is a kind of epic electronic pop. We record layers and layers of synths with Sharon then bring this to the practice room where Daniel plays really heavy beats on top.
We\’ve just spent 2 days in the studio, recorded 7 songs, we plan to release a couple just before our Summer Gaze tour.

Future Gaze is doing a massive tour very soon. Please talk about your travel plans and what kind of rider you ask for?
The day of our show in Hangzhou, there is a massive pool party  in Shanghai. So the plan is to catch the latest possible train with Daniel, while Sharon will be at the venue doing soundcheck. So rider is champagne and bikinis!

How much shit are you going to bring to Too Much Shit On The Table?
I love as much as i hate playing live because I always end up bringing half of my studio. Usually, I get drunk while or right after I play. That means hangover for the next 3 days, and it takes 1 week to get all my studio wired up… So playing live is bad both for my productivity and my back.
For the gear heads out there, here is a little list of what I am playing live with those days: Elektron Octatrack, Roland TR08, Arturia Minibrute and loads of effect, but I mainly use the Boss SpaceEcho. This is kind of minimal actually…

Do you have any other plans or projects that you would like to do in the future?
I am working a lot on a completely different project than Serbey Gubka and Future Gaze right now. 
I visited Seoul for the first time last winter. Heard they made really good soul, funk and disco in the 70/80s, but i was really amazed when i got there. Found some dope psych-rock as well. I brought Luda, my Gangnam\’s girlfriend to every flea market and record store in the city. She would be really helpful, talking to the owner, explaining what I was searching for and each time the guy was playing a record i was like \”ok, i got to take it\”… I knew i could take either a loop or do a complete edits of the tracks. I ended up spending millions of wons in super rare records that apparently were hunted by mostly by japanese people and real crate-diggers. An old lady at the flea market asked me if i knew DJ Shadow that was there few weeks ago, trying to find one of the record I have just purchased.
All this big story to explain that I have now an awesome collection of Korean jams, that I NEED to share with the world. I have started to make edits with them and will release them exclusively on vinyl. Talking with pressing plants distributor right now. Hopefully, the first Samsung Edits record will be out in September/October! 
There you have it — add to your Glory Hole collection tomorrow at DDC!!!

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.